EPA awards $2.5 million for Iowa farm water quality projects

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced a $2.5 million award to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, and Practical Farmers of Iowa as part of the Agency’s Farmer to Farmer grant program.

The projects are designed to improve water quality, habitat, resilience and peer-to-peer information exchange among farmers to benefit people and ecosystems from the northern watersheds all the way to the Gulf of Mexico.

Projects receiving funding include:

  • Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship — $1 million for the Fostering Opportunities for Water Quality Wetlands Demonstration project
  • Practical Farmers of Iowa — $979,915 for the Strengthening Farmer Networks to Improve Water Quality and Wildlife Habitat in the On-Demand World project
  • Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) — $559,258 for the Mentoring for Success in the Beaver Creek Watershed project

“There’s a tremendous amount of conservation work underway across the state of Iowa thanks to the commitment of farmers and landowners and the financial and technical support of our public and private partners, including the EPA,” Iowa agriculture secretary Mike Naig said. “These federal dollars allow us to continue building upon successful soil health and water quality projects in priority watersheds. Improving water quality is a difficult task, but we’re continuously learning and testing new science-based practices to scale-up our efforts. This EPA grant allows us to test a new type of wetland that may be able to be used in more locations, which would allow us to make a greater impact on water quality in Iowa and downstream.”

Farmer to Farmer grant funding is available to develop innovative practices within farming communities, measure the results of those practices, and identify how the practices will be incorporated into farming operations. The program is managed by the Gulf of Mexico Division, a non-regulatory program of EPA founded to facilitate collaborative actions to protect, maintain, and restore the health and productivity of the Gulf of Mexico in ways consistent with the economic well-being of the region.

For more information, go to www.epa.gov/gulfofmexico